I regularly receive inquiries from individuals–particularly young men–who wish to overcome the habit of masturbation and who have a variety of pastoral questions about it.
Recently I decided to begin a page on my blog answering questions concerning this so that others can benefit from the answers. Please be assured, as always, that any questions submitted to me by e-mail will be rigorously "anonymized" (stripped of personally identifying information).
Before beginning to answer the questions, I'd also like to offer a word of hope.
In 2 Timothy 2:22, St. Paul tells St. Timothy to "shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart."
Masturbation is not specifically what St. Paul is referring to here ("youthful passions" is a broader category than just masturbation), but I'd like to call attention to his phrase "youthful passions" because it implies hope for those who are struggling against these. While sexual temptation can be an ongoing problem, it is felt with particular intensity by young men.
So, if you're in your teens or 20s and the struggle is truly great at this point, have hope! Things will get easier with time, and you won't have to fight this kind of struggle forever. I can't promise that temptation will go away entirely, but the kind of intense struggle that many young men go through does get better.
Also, as a general matter, I would recommend that individuals check out the materials that are available at chastity.com and see if these are of help to them.
Now, on to questions/issues from readers: